Thursday of Lent 3, March 8, 2017 Jeremiah 7:23-28
Judah’s false sense of security stemmed not only from the notion of an inviolate temple (Vv. 1-15) but also from a perversion of the purpose of the ceremonies performed there by divine decree. Firmly entrenched in the hardened hearts was the pernicious belief that the tires of burn offering and sacrifices, mechanically performed, cause God to overlook their refusal to obey all His commands. Through Jeremiah used dramatic language to dislodge this heathen distortion of worship forms, he was no more successful than his predecessors, whom God had sent persistently to his stiff-necked people. (See Isaiah 1:11; Amos 5:21) 1
Our worship needs to be in spirit and in truth. Thus our focus is on Christ. Jesus is at the center of our worship. When we shift our focus to ourselves, our works, and our deeds we fall back into the same pitfalls as would befall the people at the time of Jeremiah. During Lent we have opportunity to set our focus where it belongs - upon Christ and His gifts of salvation and life. Our focus is on Jesus. The author and center of our faith.
Hymn: We Sing the Praise of Him Who Died (Lutheran Service Book 429:3)
The cross! It takes our guilt away;
It holds the fainting spirit up;
It cheers with hope the gloomy day
And sweetens ev’ry bitter cup.
Keep watch over Your church, O Lord, with Your unfailing love; and, since it is grounded in human weakness and cannot maintain itself without Your aid, protect it from all danger, and keep it in the way of salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen 2
1. Lutheran Study Bible © 2009 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
2. Collect for Thursday of Lent 3, http://www.liturgies.net/Lent/LentenCollects.htm